As part of the North East Centenary celebrations, pupils from Whitley Bay High School in North Tyneside and Cramlington Learning Village in Northumberland learnt about planning when they had a visit from the North East Branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI NE) on Friday, 25 April 2014. The students studying for their GCSEs found out about the challenges planners seek to address and the career opportunities available in the profession.
The representatives from the RTPI NE spoke to students about the impact of planning on their everyday lives and explained how planners are helping shape the places we live, work and play in the north east at the moment with some local examples of Tynemouth, the Newcastle Quayside and some local housing schemes to set the scene. The representatives from the North East branch also talked about the skill sets required by planners and the potential routes to study planning at university.
Chris Anderson, who is leading on the North East schools collaboration project and who is also an RTPI ambassador said: “I think these workshops provide a fun and informative window, big enough for pupils to see just what planning is all about in the real world and make a choice in their heads afterwards if it is a route they might explore further in their education. A special thank you should go to our event sponsors Nathanial Lichfield & Partners (NLP) and Barton Willmore who are funding our centenary celebrations and through this helped fund the day.”
Elaine Langman, a Planning Aid England volunteer, who helped out at the event said: “The interactive exercise to create, plan and build a model of a small town seemed to work best with the children.”
The regional challenge days compliment the RTPI Future Planners project which was launched by the RTPI to mark its centenary year. Over 100 ambassadors have been recruited to visit schools up and down the country to raise awareness and foster an interest in planning with students aged 11 to 18. The project aims to get young people thinking about the place where they live and the challenges communities face in the future.
As part of the centenary project the RTPI has also produced a short film ‘How do we plan our world’ explaining about the importance of planning to our everyday lives and the wider environment. The film can be viewed here.
With 23,000 members’ worldwide working in the public, private, charitable and education sectors, the RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe. As well as promoting spatial planning, the RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built and natural environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.
The RTPI’s President Cath Ranson said "The RTPI Future Planners project offers an exciting and important opportunity to inspire a younger generation and get young people thinking about their environment.”